Best Practices Articles
Psychohumor Essays
Org. Change Essays
Trauma & Crisis

Best Practices Articles:
Stress Management, Communication Skills and Team Building

A. Stress Management

1. The Four Stages of Burnout

Four stages of burnout are highlighted – from mind-body strain and shame to cynicism, confusion and crisis. Learn why the Stress Doc calls the process "The Erosive Spiral" and why so many ask, "Doc, have you been looking in my (office) window?"

2. Four Stages of Burnout & Key Strategies for Rejuvenation,

Prevention and SPEED

After a brief recap of the "Four Stages," key strategies are enumerated for burnout recovery, including the "Four ‘R’s" – Running, Reading, Retreating and Writing. Finally, discover the Stress Doc’s formula for Natural SPEED.

3. Practicing Organizational Safe Stress in Trying Times

This mix of articles includes ao opening segment on three strategies, structures and skills for Practicing Organizational Safe Stress. Then comes the "Dirty Dozen" – toxic factors leading to burnout-prone workplaces. And finally, "Seven Highly Effective (Organizational Stress Busting) Strategies," including: group grieving and envisioning goals, making task and process meet, managing stress carriers, implementing "Organizational IRAs" and developing "Psychological Hardiness."

4. Stress Doc’s "Top Ten" Stress Tips"

Key stress management tips includes: active and receptive mind-body routines and rituals, "R & R" and play, dealing with loss and constructively channeling anger, "emancipation procrastination," seeking emotional and group support along with discovering the "higher power" of Stress Doc humor: May the Farce Be with You!

B. Communication Skills: From Intimate Listening to Public Speaking

1. Listening, Learning and Leading: Technical Skill and Motivational Art

The Stress Doc identifies and illustrates with vignette and dialogue the four skills and steps of "Active Listening." Next come three keys that make science a motivational art. And finally, a vignette that brings to life three active listening concepts along with the humble power of self-effacing humor.

2. Four Faces of Anger: Model and Method for Transforming Aggression (Parts I & II)

This mix begins with the Stress Doc’s popular "Four Faces of Anger" Model. The notion of anger being one-dimensional is challenged. The 2x2 matrix demonstrates how anger can range from the constructive to the destructive, from the purposeful to the spontaneous…yielding the four faces.

In Part I of Transforming Aggression, the Stress Doc illustrates how anger can be constructive or destructive depending on whether aggressive energy and motives are acknowledged and channeled or denied and projected. Role play examples illustrate the difference between Assertive "I" Messages and Blaming "You"s and offer (mostly useful) strategies for disarming dysfunctional power struggles.

Building on the role of "You" Vs "I" messages in power struggles in Part I, the Stress Doc now illustrates the passion and strategic purposefulness of a "higher power" response in the face of provocation. He closes with a five-step confrontation that's more than a good IDEA.

3. The Four "P" Principles of Powerful Presentation: A Paradoxical Model

On the eve of a keynote program, a pedagogical conundrum challenges the Stress Doc to envision and construct a matrix related to the fundamentals of energetic and engaging public speaking. The resultant visual-conceptual model attempts to illuminate a paradoxical approach to four essential principles and four stimulating methods of powerful presentation.

4. Jumping Into the High Stakes Audition:

"Top Ten" Strategies for Surviving and Winning

The Stress Doc explores psychological and technical concepts and skills gleaned from a recent, parts powerful and parts painful learning curve. These strategic tips just might help you conquer that next high stakes audition.

C. Team Building

1. Five Macro and Micro Strategies for Post-Enron Reorganization
A Stress Doc Survival Guide: Parts I & II

Despite an opening rant on scandalous or shadowy corporate operations, the Stress Doc cautions not to forget the survivors of the streamlinings and mergers. Part I of this two-part series focuses on five micro and macro reorganizational strategies.

Building on the broad reorganizational strategies as outlined in Part I, the final segment examines five strategies for the work team as nucleus for grappling positively with disruptive change, a setting for grieving and healing and for the rebuilding of trust and productivity.

2. Initiating and Sustaining An OD-Team Building Process: Parts I & II

In Part I of a two-part series, the Stress Doc outlines six strategic steps and structures for initiating and sustaining an Organizational Development (OD) and Team-Building Process. And if commitment at the highest levels remains tenuous, the process can be easily undermined.

Part II, the concluding section, will examine the barriers to productive team building, including strategies for handling disruptive employees and dysfunctional managers. Conversely, case vignettes illustrate structures and strategies for productive teaming, including vital collaborations with management.

3. Purposeful and Playful Workshop Exercises and Strategies:
The Art of Practicing Safe Stress

Reflecting on his recent successful Professional Convention Management Association Annual Meeting workshop, the Stress Doc briefly describes the two key interactive exercises. He then analyzes why they are highly effective for yielding stress relief, laughs and team building synergy.

4. Humor and the Work Team:
Healing, Harmonizing, and Harnessing Morale and Productivity

The Stress Doc sheds light on higher purpose, motivational humor as a creative, stress-reducing tool for these highly charged times. Case vignettes illustrate humor’s potential for enhancing task and supportive capacities of a work team while helping the organization as a whole practice in-house "R & R" – recreation and rejuvenation.